Tanzania discontent over president's BBC interview


President Samia Suluhu Hassan was sworn in five months ago. (Getty Images)

By Aboubakar Famau


Tanzania's main opposition party has hit out at President Samia Suluhu Hassan for saying their leader fled the country for several months after last November’s election.


Chadema leader Freeman Mbowe is currently in detention after his arrest last month on terrorism-related charges.


Mrs Samia told the BBC that he should not have left Tanzania at a time he knew he was under investigation.


In response to the president’s comments, Chadema said that Mr Mbowe had been out of the country legally and accused President Samia of interfering in a case that was before the courts.


The president was either misguided or had deliberately chosen to misinform the public, John Mnyima, Chadema’s general secretary, said.


In the BBC interview Mrs Samia, who took over as president after the death in March of her predecessor John Magufuli, also defended her ban on political rallies, saying they created “political chaos”.


Chadema said this contravened the country’s constitution, which allows political parties to conduct their affairs freely - including the holding of political rallies.


This article was published by BBC News.